This is something most people never thought would happen, and may not even now. But a recent report claiming Apple is ready to open his iPhone to apps installed outside of the App Store has rekindled the debate — is sideloading a good thing or a bad thing? What is it?
The answer to that question is complicated.not only 1 answer. Whether sideloading is beneficial or not depends a lot on who you are and what you do. If you’re a power user, the answer is much different than if you’re just using your iPhone to send iMessages or browse Facebook.
If you’re a developer, are you building apps for Apple’s platforms? Well, things are more complicated for you.
Give the App Store a Competitive Edge
One of the things people often say about the App Store is that there is no competition because Apple’s rules prevent it.no other way to distribute real iPhone apps and web apps have limitations. After all, if HTML 5 could do everything developers and users needed, there wouldn’t be an App Store in the first place.
As is often the case in other industries, this lack of competition means that Apple can effectively do what it wants and charge a fee. Anyone who doesn’t want to pay Apple 30% of his App Store revenue has no choice but to not sell iPhone apps in the first place. This is the route that Epic Games made famous in Fortnite. And two years later, Fortnite is still missing from the App Store.
Sticking to the Fortnite example, competition means Epic can distribute Fortnite any way it chooses. If so, the market will speak out and the App Store will lose. But third-party app stores and sideloading are generally not possible, so that shouldn’t happen.
But what if?
Developer Alex Logan said, “I think the payment competition is good in terms of potential experiences, but I’m worried that after the introductory period, all stores will end up with the same price. I am.” (opens in new tab)“I think the PC gaming landscape is, in a way, proof that despite all these platforms being available in different cuts, there really isn’t a difference in the price you pay.”
In such cases, the user does not pay more, but the developer makes a big profit.
menu plan (opens in new tab) Developer Davide Benini is part of Apple’s Small Business Program. So the company’s cut of his sales is 15%, not 30%. He said, “If that 15% of him becomes 5% or 10% of him, it will make a big difference.” And those with higher cuts can benefit even more: “Obviously, it’s going to make a bigger difference for companies outside of the small business program that he pays Apple 30% right now.” Let’s go,” he adds Benini.
own the experience
However, selling your app outside of the App Store has more benefits than money. As it stands, developers don’t own customer relationships in which Apple acts as an intermediary, whether they want to or not. App users often seek refunds from developers, but only Apple can initiate refunds.
Taking Apple out of the equation would change that.
“[That] It’s definitely an aspect of the App Store that could be improved,” says Benini. When I see the crash in the log. ”
Venini is not alone. As for user relationships, Logan says that more control gives them the flexibility to retain customers they may lose.
“If someone wants to cancel, we want to offer a special deal or a bespoke offer on just one channel,” he says. “I think Apple can provide this, and I hope they do. Perhaps competitors will push for it.”
The Not-So-Wild West
One problem some people have suggested that sideloading can pose is a lack of security. Apple itself claims that the App Store is the only thing between users and the Old West. That is, apps that can steal your data and other things that only App Store reviews can prevent. But that’s not necessarily true. Surprisingly, the Mac may be the answer.
The Mac App Store works much like it does on iPhones and iPads, but it stands to reason that you can install apps outside of your walled garden. But that doesn’t mean the app isn’t checked by Apple.
Mac apps can be “notarized”. This means that Apple has checked the app for malicious code and confirmed that it is safe. This is an approach that can also be taken with iPhone apps.
“I’m sure we’ll see a system similar to the Mac where most apps are notarized, but of course you can download completely random stuff from the internet,” says Logan. He expects Apple to show multiple warnings if an app isn’t notarized so people know what they’re getting into. “I’m sure there will be countless warnings before doing that, and I hope it’s enough to prevent vulnerable people from being told to download banking apps from random links.”
Google’s Android has allowed sideloading since its inception, and will display similar alerts when a user tries to install an app downloaded outside of the Play Store. If Apple so chooses, it can do the same.
not a deal
But with all this in place, if Apple blew the door on the iPhone and let people download apps outside of the App Store, what would developers choose?
“I would definitely keep my app on the App Store. Removing it would mean losing the ranking position I managed to achieve over the last 18 months,” adds Benini. “I get most of my downloads from organic downloads. It doesn’t make sense to lose them.” “If another store gains traction, I might consider putting my app there as well.”
DEVON Technologies (opens in new tab)the company behind DEVONthink is have not decided (opens in new tab) What do you do when you have a choice? While we are not making the Mac version of the app available in the Mac App Store, we have at least confirmed that the iPhone and iPad apps will remain in the App Store “only for processing updates and subscriptions.”
This is an important consideration. All subscription management and actual payment processing is handled automatically by the App Store. Money that is available elsewhere must be processed.
Logan’s stance reflects that. “I want my app to be seen by as many people as possible, but when it comes to subscriptions, I don’t enjoy the idea of having to deal with different payment methods,” he says. But that stance could change, especially when the numbers make the extra work worth it. ”
There is one more layer here that hasn’t been pointed out yet. The App Store helps developers protect their apps from being copied, but it doesn’t always work properly.
But with apps that can be installed from anywhere, that protection is gone.
There are many valid points on both sides, but there is one that has not been mentioned much here.For mid-sized companies, there is a risk that copycat apps will steal IP and drive prices down.If Apple can intervene is easy to handle, but can be costly if you have X external app storesDecember 14, 2022
Ultimately, all this may be in vain. But Bloomberg’s article suggests the EU is ready to force Apple’s hand. And as much as Apple may have tried to step in over the years, the EU usually gets what it wants. Future USB-C iPhones should prove it. is.
To sideload or not
Only time will tell if opening up your iPhone and sideloading it is a good idea. Some people are concerned that just because apps like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp might be removed, they will inevitably be removed from the App Store, confusing customers. . But to prove that’s not necessarily the case, we need to look as far as Android. Big companies like Meta know that the place where most people look for apps is his Play Store, so they have their apps there. Yes, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp can all be downloaded as well.
People like us are probably the biggest beneficiaries of sideloading. Power users who want to use apps that are not normally listed on the App Store because they violate Apple’s rules. Game emulators are an obvious example here, but there are others. And if you need to sideload to get them without the hassle of jailbreaking, so be it.
But it’s clear that sideloading is not a silver bullet. There are questions to be answered and solutions to be found. But the mere suggestion that Apple might one day allow third-party app stores and sideloading is enough to start these conversations.and they obviously requirement Happens soon.